Vendors Appreciates Waste Management Trial

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FIVE Schools in Honiara have joined a Waste Management Innovation initiative through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that organized a 10-week trial in encouraging changing from single-use plastics to reusable materials.


A school market vendor at Koloale, Hellen Lau at Koloale School encouraged all school vendors to obey and abide to this new initiative.


Hellen Lau is a school vendor who has been selling cooked food at Koloale School over the past four years. She said that it was the first time for her to ever witnessed an initiative on waste management been carried out in schools in Honiara.


“The UNDP has initiated this plan and it was very good seeing the school management working hard together to carry out the plan,” she said.


As a school vendor, Hellen sells fish and chips with other food vendors that normally pack their food in plastic products. She said waste plastics are a major cause of litter and it has affected the school environment.


“Honiara City dwellers and students have carelessly thrown plastics wherever they please.


“The practise of littering has been a culture in our urban setting and therefore we can blame students, because it is us (vendors) who bring food products to sell in plastic bags,” she said.


Hellen said she sells her fish and chips in brown paper bags, which also contributes to the littering in the school compound.


She said that the brown paper bag has an advantage because it cannot rot unlike plastic bags which could takes decades to rot.


UNDP Waste Management Innovative Initiative encouraged schools to use containers or plates instead of plastic bags for students to serve their foods in and with the help from UNDP they supplied 100 aluminium plates to Koloale School for students to use during their lunch break.


“I think this is a good idea for students to use the lunch box donated by UNDP especially to avoid using single use plastic bags. I know that it will affect vendors who sell their products in plastic bags, but this is to help solve this issue that we faced everywhere in Honiara,” she said.


Hellen said that Koloale School have gone through this trial and have seen changes in the approach to waste management in the school.


“As a vendor, I now see that the school has improved a lot. Students have complied with the new rules and approach of dumping plastic wastes in proper bins. Most primary students now use containers and plates to serve their lunch and many vendors try their bests to provide food in containers and not plastic bags,” she said.


Hellen has helped the teaching staff of Koloale School in sharing and advising school vendors to provide reusable materials and no single plastic bags. She thanked the UNDP and would like to call on other school vendors to work closely together with teachers in promoting such positive approach to plastic waste management as such initiative is aim to help build together a clean and healthy environment in schools for our children.

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Lynda Wate
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